September is the season for Hatch Chiles, and the much-anticipated harvest has fans lining up to get their fresh-roasted fix. These coveted chiles are only available for a few weeks each year, so time is of the essence if you still want to score a batch from the current crop.
This flavorful cultivar is uniquely native to New Mexico’s Hatch Valley where the nutrient-rich soil, intense sun, and cool desert nights provide the perfect conditions for the chiles to grow. Available in heat levels ranging from mild to extra hot, these slender green peppers have a smooth skin, and distinctive earthy taste that will enhance a variety of dishes.
Hatch Chiles are traditionally purchased fresh in bulk, then slow roasted to bring out their innate smokey essence and spicy notes. They are a favorite addition to Southwestern recipes and a staple in Mexican cuisine, but their versatility is endless.
Earlier this month, I received an invitation from Mollie Stones Markets to attend one of their local Hatch Chile Roasts. These annual events draw people from across the Bay Area who flock to stock up while the gettin’ is good.
The crew was already hard at work when I arrived at the Mollie Stones store in Sausalito. A delicious, savory aroma filled the air outside as men sporting thick, heat-proof gloves loaded bins of Hatch Chiles from Melissa’s Produce into large rotisserie baskets.
Slowly the metal drums churned their contents to fire-roasted perfection. In minutes the process was complete, and the blistered, steaming chiles were scooped into waiting boxes. It was impressive to watch this professional operation!
I came home with a box of charred chiles and set to work. I put some aside to cook with immediately and froze the rest, in single-layered ziplock bags, to use throughout the year. In honor of the occasion, I decided to create the special recipe below to showcase this seasonal star.
Hurry down to a Mollie Stones (or specialty grocers) near you and grab some Hatch Chiles while you still can!
Stuffed Hatch Chilies with Scrambled Eggs & Bacon-Veggie Hash (serves 6-8)
This hearty entrée is perfect for brunch or a light dinner.
8 large roasted Hatch Chiles (heat level of choice)
1 tablespoon EVOO + 1 teaspoon
1/2 sweet onion, small dice
3 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 ear fresh sweet corn, kernels removed
1 medium zucchini, diced
3 strips bacon, cooked & chopped (*may be omitted for a vegetarian-friendly version)
2 tablespoons sour cream
3/4 cup shredded pepper jack or Mexican blend cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- To clean the Roasted Hatch chiles: cut a shallow slit lengthwise through the skin on the top of the chile to create a pocket. Remove the seeds. Lay the chiles side by side on the parchment paper, cut side up.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO over medium heat. Sauté diced onion and shiitake mushrooms for about 4 minutes or until the onion soft and slightly brown.
- In a bowl, combine the eggs and sour cream. Whisk until well mixed.
- Add corn, zucchini, and cooked bacon to the skillet and continue to sauté, stirring frequently, for another 2 minutes or until zucchini is crisp tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of EVOO. Add the egg-sour cream mixture and cook, moving constantly with a heat-proof rubber spatula, until soft scrambled. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Gently stir the bacon-veggie hash into the soft scrambled eggs until blended.
- Open the slit in each chile and stuff with the egg-hash mixture. Top with shredded cheese.
Bake on the center oven rack for about 8 minutes, or until the chiles are heated through and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.